The USF Contemporary Art Museum put out an open call to community artists in late spring for an exhibition called “A Different Frame of Mind.” The artists were charged with using recycled museum quality frames from past USFCAM exhibitions to create new works of art. This is part of USFCAM’s “ongoing efforts to find new methods for sharing resources and creative capital with the community.”

"A Different Frame of Mind"
“A Different Frame of Mind”

When you think about a frame, it is in some sense a limitation, bounding a work of art, for exhibition and public view. But “A Different Frame of Mind” aimed to get artists to think about how to use recycled frames—new frames can generally be quite costly—to explore both the limitations and the opportunities for the expansiveness of the frames themselves. Each of the artists found a unique way to use the frames as a part of the piece and to start a conversation about framing and showing artwork in a gallery setting.

Vince Kral, exhibition curator of the exhibit, was pleased that the concept for the show was an opportunity to reach out to the community to bring local exhibitors and new audiences to campus. He wanted artists to “push [themselves] to do something they may not have thought of before.” He said, some of the artists had not previously considered working on the scale of 5’x6’ for example, so the chance to use the USFCAM frames resulted in a shift of perspective for the exhibiting artists.

"Full Fathom Five" by Mike Covello
“Full Fathom Five” by Mike Covello

Starting in mid-June, the artists who were selected by the committee, including Kral, Taylor Pilote (USF Graphicstudio Sculpture Fabricator), and Tracy Midulla Reller (Hillsborough Community College faculty and Founder and Creative Director of Tempus Projects) came to campus turning the gallery into a studio space. The committee felt that the selected artists created the “most innovative uses for the repurposed frames.”

USFCAM also invited the public to observe the exhibition process from production to framing to hanging the work; and Kral provided workshops on framing and hanging to give the community an inside peek at what it takes to mount a museum show.

Kral said, “I love what I do,” particularly in a university setting. He enjoyed having this opportunity to teach others about the gallery process, and said, “You don’t get that at every museum.”

Rhonda Donovan, a USF BFA student and professional artist, attended both workshops, which were intended to demystify the framing and hanging process. “This is a community interaction workshop,” she commented. “He showed us all the tricks of the trade – [sharing] the ability to beautify your space in a 1-2-3 process.”

She continued, “I have a very strong belief that art inspires everything else. It gives people self-confidence … that they can do something good in this life. My goal as an artist is to expose everybody to beauty and creativity in this lifetime.”

"Body/Frame" by Ariel Baron Robbins
“Body/Frame” by Ariel Baron Robbins

This group show has a unique concept, and is sure to spark a dialogue about the role of museums in the community. It is important for USFCAM to support its educational mission by devising new ways to reach diverse audiences. And, of course, who wouldn’t appreciate the chance to look at things from a different frame of mind every once in a while?

The show will continue throughout the summer, with a closing reception on September 5, 2014 from 7-9pm.

Sometimes all you need is “A Different Frame of Mind”

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